Memorial Day weekend marked the start of what New Hampshire officials hope will be a busy summer tourism season. As part of it, they're rolling out a gentle reminder for visitors: Don't Take New Hampshire for Granite.
The new motto from the state Division of Travel and Tourism comes after last year's busy pandemic summer saw over-crowded trails, tensions with workers and problems with litter.
The state wants to remind people to leave no trace out there: stay away from wildlife, don’t pickup plants or rocks, and pack out your waste. They say visitors should show respect for each other, local residents and park staff. And they should get up to speed on the latest rules for reservations and parking before they arrive.
The White Mountain National Forest issued similar reminders. They say visitors should know what they're getting into with any hikes and prepare for sudden changes in weather.
If people arrive at a trailhead that's visibly crowded – as many were in 2020 – they're encouraged to go somewhere else. And please, the National Forest says, don't feed the bears.
The state hopes to see 2019 levels of visitation this summer and is advertising itself across a 600-mile radius, emphasizing road trips from the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. The year before the pandemic was one of New Hampshire’s best ever for tourism, the state’s top-earning industry.